Although I grew up in the heat and humidity of summers in New Jersey, my extended stay in the Pacific Northwest has turned me into a wimp.
When the thermometer rises above 75 in Bellingham, I wilt. Cooking becomes a real chore, not joyful just tedious.
Having to teach a class to teens in the midst of the heat wave?
That is always fun.
I love to teach, love kids and getting them to understand the whys and hows of turning great fresh organic foods into a meal excites my locavore heart.
But having to cook again when I get home, not so much.
Maybe it’s because the Coop has air conditioning, and my home kitchen doesn’t?
Excited didn’t begin to describe how I felt when I was chosen. I’ve wanted a mandoline for years. No other tool makes slicing incredibly thin slices, julienne and waffle cuts as easy as a mandoline.
Years of knife skills and training, no way would I be able to do that thin consistently. This salad gave me free rein to play with my new toy. Lucky for me this Cashew Nut Sauce Noodle Salad would make life easy for dinner.
Bonus, I used up the sauce we had made for the class and had leftover. I love when leftovers get used up.
Shredding the carrots and zucchini into tiny julienne, slicing the onions paper thin.
All together a very satisfying half hour or so playing in the kitchen.
The Cashew Nut Sauce for this Noodle Salad might seem a bit daunting just from the list of ingredients, but it gets thrown into a food processor and turned on to run till it is velvety. Easy, peasy.
And best of all, if you double the amounts you have lunch and dinner for another day for a family of 4.
- 1 package of Asian rice noodles cooked according to package directions.
- Drain in colander and rinse well to cool.
- These can be anything fresh and wonderful. I used
- 1 zucchini- julienned
- 2 large carrots- julienned
- 1 Walla Walla onion- sliced as thin as possible
- 1 stalk of Broccoli – stems julienned and florets cut small
- a handful of sugar snap peas cut into small pieces
- a package of organic tiny peppers in orange, red, yellow and chocolate brown cut into tiny shreds.
- Feel free to combine any vegetables you love raw.
- 1 cup cashew nuts- roasted or raw (the roasted are deeper and richer in flavor)
- ½ cup tahini paste or ¾ cup of sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic – approx 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger- a quarter sized chunk
- 2 Tablespoons palm or coconut sugar- if you can’t find either brown sugar will do.
- 1 tablespoon red miso paste
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 fresh lime- entire insides without the peel- pulp and all
- 2 T wheat free tamari soy sauce
- ¼ cup vegetable broth or more depending on the texture.
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- In a food processor, puree the cashew nuts, garlic, ginger, sugar and tahini (or sesame seeds) till finely chopped.
- Add the miso, tamarind paste and hot sauce.
- While the machine is running add coconut milk, lime juice, tamari sauce.
- Add vegetable broth and check texture. If it needs a bit more broth, add it now.
- Fold in the cilantro and keep refrigerated until noodle are ready.
- Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables, stir and eat.